CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - About 350 people showed up at Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts Out of School Time summit. The summit was held at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Monday morning.
One of the mayor's campaign promises was to create more opportunities for after school options for students.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told the crowd Monday between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, if students don't have something positive to do after school they could get into trouble.
Roberts believes giving students something to do after school is beneficial. Roberts tells WBTV there are plenty of students who have nothing to do after school.
"Improving access to programs," the mayor said. "Will create economic opportunities for kids as well as improve public safety. This is the first step in what will be a multi-year commitment to improve access and build capacity for our youth."
Roberts admits making after school happen for all will be a challenge. The mayor says challenges include a lack of a clearinghouse for parents to investigate what's a good after school program. The mayor also told WBTV other challenges parents and organizations face.
"They also don't have a good way to evaluate what's a really successful program for my student," Roberts said. "As opposed to somebody that formed just yesterday. There's no evaluation method. There is also no training for people who want to start a program, maybe their church has never had an after school program. They want to have some kind of training, there's not a central place to go for that."
The mayor says she will continue to work with public and private partners to increase the capacity for after school programs. After the summit, $10,000 was donated to help eliminate challenges the community faces when it comes to after school options. The money could help create a clearinghouse or provide training to organizations interested in creating after school programs.
Foundation for the Carolinas will hold the money until it is figured out the best way to spend it.